the switch from "tower of terror" to the new guardians of the galaxy ride at california adventure finally opened last weekend. a lot of people were really upset about this, and we weren't very happy about it either...but as walt said, disneyland will never be completed as long as there is imagination left in the world. change is good!
the ride officially opened on saturday, and the posts i was seeing on social media were crazy. like, there were already crazy long lines at the security checkpoints to enter the parks at 4:00 in the morning. the wait for the ride itself was being quoted at 5-6 hours at some point. um, what? the ride isn't going anywhere anytime soon, guys. that's just crazy. although there are a lot of folks who love to be there on the first day of a new attraction, buy commemorative merchandise, etc. the girls and i are not really among them, and so we stayed home and watched from afar.
but we decided that it might be kinda fun to go on the second day. heh. our plan was to keep an eye on the wait times posted on the official disneyland app and then head out there later in the evening, totally prepared to wait in line for up to two hours. that still sounds pretty insane, but i guess we're just crazy like that.
we were pretty surprised to find no issues with getting into the parking structure and even scored a pretty decent spot. security was a breeze, with zero line, and even getting on the tram was pain free.
once we got inside the park, we stopped to grab the bean something to eat before making our way towards the ride. the fastpass return line stretched all the way out into the bug's land area, and then we found that the standby line was broken in half with the end of the line behind a fence and in this backlot area that they'd converted into those famous maze-like disneyland queues.
we hadn't even bothered to check the wait time before we got in line, and mustered up all the patience we could.
it was about half an hour or so before we got to the front of the fenced area and were within view of the ride. it does look really cool when it's all lit up, and they'd done a great job of removing all traces of the twilight zone theme and replacing it with the guardians of the galaxy.
when we finally joined the other half of the line just outside the entrance, we caught a glimpse of the quoted wait time:
yup. that does indeed say 180 minutes...and considering it was already 9:00 and the park was closing in an hour, we were wondering if they'd close the line at some point. it gave us a teaser of what we'd be seeing when we finally entered the building before veering off to the left and then winding around and around and around and back again.
i'm pretty sure there were lots of other props and things that i missed along the way, but it was pretty dark and we were occupied with playing games and snacking on stuff i'd packed in my backpack. i did see this gold gnome though...and since we haven't seen the second movie and hardly remember the first, none of us knew if there was any significance to it.
here's the entrance to the building:
and more props and things that we didn't recognize.
chris pratt and zoe saldana appeared on the screen, although it was so noisy in there that we couldn't really hear what was going on.
in the waiting area in front of what used to be the entrance to the hotel library:
and then we walked into this room for the pre-show.
the last part of the line was just past the side door, and like the rest of the whole area, you couldn't see where "tower of terror" once was. they always leave a little piece of the ride that came before, but we couldn't find anything that looked familiar.
well, except for this - my photo is blurry because i was trying to keep up with the line (which was moving pretty fast by then), but this is harold...the former abominable snowman who lived in matterhorn mountain.
in front of the doors that would lead us to the elevator for the actual ride.
i'm not going to spoil it for you in case you plan to head out to DCA and check it out, but just know that while the up-and-down/freefalling motion of the ride is still the same as tower of terror, they managed to find a way to change it up quite a bit. it's so much fun, especially when you don't know what to expect, and they still take a picture of you at the top when the doors open and you can look out at the park from high above.
and of course, you get dumped out into a gift shop at the end.
california adventure had been officially closed for about half an hour by then, and it's always fun to walk through an empty park.
since disneyland is open a couple of hours later than DCA, we headed over there to see if we could squeeze in one more ride. we even caught the beginning of the electrical parade as the second showing began:
and we made our way through tomorrowland as fast as we could. it was the last weekend for hyperspace mountain, and we wanted to ride it just one last time before the overlay was removed and it reverted back to the OG space mountain.
the wait time was quoted as 75, but we were on the ride in 30.
it was 11:45 by then, and so we made our way back towards the exit. as we got to the end of main street, we found a couple of old friends waving goodbye to everyone:
good times. and we can't wait to get back to ride guardians again! maybe next week.